tv Public Affairs CSPAN January 28, 2013 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
resources and the social welfare. it was an exhaustive continent of ex imperial powers. they were able to get away with that to the point of irrelevancy. because they had the protection of the american umbrella. the united states doesn't have that choice because if we do what obama wants to do with which modern liberalism wants to do is re-create that choice and shift the resource that comes out of this remarkable engine of a free market into social welfare, increasingly unsustainable, and allowing it to come out of essentially the budget of the greatest power on earth. and choosing the european path,
hoping we'll keep the world at bay, hoping we will sustain ourselves with a reduced presence in the world and a radically reduced capacity for defending ourselves, defending our allies and projecting our power. so that would be sort of an an litic way to present why we are in decline. it's not a conscious choice. i don't want to play the amateur psychiatrist or even a professional one in this. i don't want to look in obama's soul but if you look at where modern liberalism is taking us, it is to re-create the choice the europeans made in the late 1940's after the second world war. the problem for us, and i think the problem for the west is if we decline and use our resources internally, who will protect us, who will protect the free world, who will keep open the sea lanes and who will
prevent the rise of a hegamon like china or the chaos that will ensue if there's no leader or dominant power in the world. it's a very long answer to a short question. and the reason i did that is because on television i would have been stopped after the first minute and a half. so i'm going to abuse the fact i can now -- there's no clock here. [laughter] >> you say it's a subconscious choice. are you hopeful or agnostic on the question of when it's presented to the public or when the public realizes consciously the consequences of going down this path that heal want to shift directions? >> i think you get a fairly close analogy to where we are now with the late 1970's, at which time i was actually on the wrong side of the fence. again, i appreciate you leaving out that part of my checkered past.
>> i was going to get to it later. >> i'll keep bringing it up over and over again so you don't have to. it's a form of atonement, really. the country was weary. the exertions of korea, obviously vietnam, and there was come home america which did not succeed in 197 . but there was a sense we would allow ourselves to drift and that we would not spend our resources because of a, quote, inordinate fear of communism which is a phrase used in the carter administration. then came reagan. i think perhaps you could argue the events of 1979 was a catastrophic year for the united states, that was the soviet invasion of afghanistan. that was the communist takeover of nicaragua. and most importantly it was the iranian hostage crisis which became the symbol of what happens when you're in decline and what happens if you think
you can withdraw from the world. you can't. because the world will come after you. so the answer possibly would be that it would take some event comparable to that, some humiliation, setback, or realization through some action in the world there is no safety in hiding, there is no safety in retreat, and there's no alternative, unfortunately, to american leadership if the democratic experiment of the last 200 years is to actually survive. then it dawns upon the country, and it always rises again. the other element of this would be the philosophy that we share, which is essentially one where the strength of a country comes from the private sector, from the free enterprise system, from the actions of the individuals and from the strength of civil society and not the government, which is what obama leaves -- believes is the objection of
connectivity. if all of that is true, which i think it is, then i think four more years on the course of drift, on the course of expanding the government at the expense of the private sector will have results that will be unmistakable and there will be a shift away from it which makes me rather optimistic about the future in the medium term though i'm not that optimistic about the short term. >> let's delve into more of the causes of it, the election result, and this may be a false choice, but to what extent do you think the outcome had to do with romney's weaknesses as an anecdote and how much had to do with the content he was trying to sell and perhaps the staleness of it, how much was just circumstances, the economy wasn't bad enough to fire obama and the republican party, its brand was still being dragged down with the association through the financial crisis in
iraq and sundry other leftovers of the bush years? >> i think the clearest way to look at this is to look at 2010. 2010 was a resounding rejection of what obama had done in the first two years. it was a resounding rejection of the inintrusiveness expansion of the government. it essentially was a referendum on this kind of hyper liberalism and a referendum on the question of the size, the scope, the reach of government, and it was kind of a pure ideological election, because there were no personalities involved. you weren't voting for a president, you weren't voting up and down on a figure, you were voting on issues. and the don't instant -- dominant issue was obama, was the increase in spending, was essentially the expansion of government. or to put it a more abstract and grand way, the relationship
between citizen and state which obviously was tilting towards state. so -- and there when the question is put in that way, the country shows itself to be a center-right country. had republicans been able to duplicate those conditions, that framework in 2012, they would have won. but it isn't the same election. 2010 was almost a purely ideological election, perhaps the most ideological since 1980. then you get to 2010 when you have a personality involved, and you have a figure who represents one side. romney is a good man. i like him. i think he's an honorable man. and i think he actually would have made an excellent president but he was a bad candidate, particularly in an election that could have been won had it been an election about ideas and philosophy. i think it would have been easily won had it been about ideas and philosophy. but number one, he wasn't the
man, the best man on our side to make that case. and secondly, he decided not to make the case in either way, and to run on the state of the economy and not on the issue. i mean, hely ran ideologicalic -- he ran ideologically the first hour. and if he run his campaign that way he would have won and he couldn't sustain it or trust it and he subsided in the second and third debate and became passive and stuck to hoping the state of the economy would be enough to have obama dismissed on the ground of incompetence. well, in the end the economy turned up a bit, obama ran a brilliant campaign, he created some issues out of nothing like the class war issue on taxes, which romney was not able to rebutt or make the argument for. look, let's be honest about
this. romney was a man who spoke conservatism as a second language. you remember in one of the primary debates he wanted to show up as conservative as he was and he ran a severely conservative administration as governor of massachusetts. severe is a word you associate with head wounds and tropical storms. [laughter] >> not with the government. he had trouble making the case. we have a strong bench, half of whom is here at your conference, young governors, ryan, we have rubio in congress, a whole slew of gun governors, a generation who is adept, you could say marinated in conservative philosophy. thinking very deeply about a new kind of conservatism but they for their own reasons,
some personal, some they were simply too new and young and raw, weren't quite ready to not run. we had a weak field in the primaries, extremely weak, of whom romney was obviously the best and only possible presidential candidate. you he was -- but he was weaker than the ones sitting on the bench and who will be out there in 2016. that is the source of my optimism. but there was a case that could have been made and wasn't. i think that's largely the reason. >> he is a very good man, mitt romney, but you got a sense of him with the groucho marx line. i've got principles and if you don't like them, i've got other principles. it's not just walter mondale that's one of your vulnerabilities, there's also the -- >> thanks for bringing it up again. we're up to three now. >> there was a period of two,
maybe three krauthammer columns in 2009 right around the first of the inauguration that were very soft on president obama. and i remember you saying your wife, robin, didn't respect you again until you sort of snapped out of it. what made you -- there was an element of you that was hopeful about his presidency initially, what was that? >> that must have been a very short period. [laughter] >> it was probably as short as my marxist period in college because that lasted a weekend. it was a hell of a weekend. [applause] >> something of a haze hangs over when i think about it. perhaps i can re-create it again in denver or washington state one day. and not have to worry about the law.
[laughter] >> obama was very interesting. in my defense, a week before, two weeks before the election in 2008, i wrote a column, sort of separating myself rather severely, to use a romney word, from some of my colleagues on the right who had defected to obama, and i named them, and i said that i was going down with the mccain ship because i knew it would be going down and i wasn't going to waiver. i never imagined i would support obama over mccain. i was very strongly for mccain. i thought he was a very good man. he didn't run a very strong campaign. we seem to have a habit of doing that. but here's what's interesting about obama. if you remember the transition, he made very centrist appointments. he appointed a -- he had, for
example, he kept gates at defense. he picked geithner for treasury who had worked and -- hand and glove with the bush administration through the financial crisis. he picked hillary as secretary of state, volcker was one of the major advisors. the former president of harvard, i'm getting -- summer was in treasury. these are not radical appointments. what's interesting about obama is when he ran in 2008 he ran as a rorschach test. he was a man into whom you could pour all of your own visions and hopes. he was not a very distinctly radical candidate when he ran. that was the brilliance of his 2008 campaign. and even the inaugural address, the first, was anadine and didn't tell you anything about him. and then he made a speech on february 24, which i referenced in my column this morning in define.
that was the -- in 2001. that was the address he made to congress, the equivalent of a state of the union address where he unveiled a shockingly radical democratic agenda and gave a series of speeches culminating in june of that year at georgetown university where he expounded on his philosophy and it was clear to me he had dropped the veil. and i give him credit for honesty, openness and courage. it was not clintonian in any way. he said, i'm not here to trim, i'm not here to reform around the edges, i'm here to transform the united nations -- the united states of america. and he was very specific. it wasn't some kind of abstract notion he was presenting. he said, i'm going to do it in health care, education and energy. now think about that, health care is one-sixth, and then you
control the production and the price and you control everything and he tried to with cap and trade but failed. and education is the future. you control the three elements there and you've goten what lennon would call the commanding heights of a post industrial society. that's what he said he wanted to do. but you don't remember this because unlike me, you have real lives, you don't have to watch everything the man says, i do for my sins and they clearly are many, but he sprinkled that speech and the subsequent speeches until the georgetown speech with a phrase, the new foundation, which was never picked up on and never remembered, but it was in there. in fact, the name of the speech when they give out the printed version of it was called the new foundation. he already saw himself one month into the presidency as a successor to the new deal and the new frontier.
he wanted this appalachian, the new foundation, to be what obama is and would be. so it shows you how ideologically ambitious he was from day one. so at that point i knew who he was. i'm not sure anyone knew who he was up until then. i do think the thing -- the incident you're recalling is a week before obama was sworn in, he was -- i was invited to a dinner with a few conservative columnists to meet with the president-elect. and i remember when the word leaked out, liberal columnists were extremely upset so they quickly scheduled a breakfast the next morning. we got steak and they got corn flakes. that was the only victory our side won. and obama was extremely affable
, extremely genial. and what impressed me, and thus is the reason why i'm so disappointed with him today, is he showed a very keen capacity to understand and to respect a contrary argument. we asked him a ton of questions, and he would restate your side without creating a straw man, giving the sort of best and most open and generous interpretation of your argument, stating his and then speaking about trying to find a resolution. so he has that capacity, which is why i'm so infuriated whenever he makes these speeches and he does this all the time, when he always attributes to his opponents bad faith, what he calls, you know, the party over national interests, personal interests over anything else, quest of power, where he -- i know he has the capacity to understand the other side, but he
demagogues by pretending the other side is not serious, is only seeking to use these arguments on a way to power. so that's my defense and i'm sticking with it. >> do you find him likable as a politician or do you understand his appeal? >> i've only had three hours with him. >> just watching him on tv as he performs? >> no, i think he is consciously exercising sort of very demagoguic tactics where he's not a man -- i think i would say it, i'm not sure he believes it, because i saw him in action acting in a prophesorial way so you know he's capable of it, or perhaps he fooled me for three hours and the real obama is out there so i leave it up to you to
decide. but i made a decision when i left psychiatry that was it, i'm not going to practice it again, and especially not in public. [laughter] >> and i'm sure it's useful to delve into the motivations. you judge a politician on his actions and i think his actions have been rather demagoguic and i think he's been extremely successful at it. i will say just as an aside about psychiatry, it is true i was a psychiatrist and technically i'm still licensed but the truth is, i'm a psychiatrist in remission and i've done rather well. i haven't had a relapse in 25 years. and people ask me, you know, what's it like, how different is it to be a political analyst in washington versus what i used to be which is a psychiatrist in boston. and i tell them, as you can imagine, it really isn't that different. [laughter]
>> don't get ahead of me now. in both lines of work i deal every day with people who suffer from paranoia and delusions of grandeur. the only difference is the paranoid in d.c. have access to nuclear weapons which makes the work a little more interesting. [laughter] >> where were we, rich? >> i think we're working our way back around walter mondale eventually. >> that's number four. if you're keeping score. >> obviously, events and circumstances will have a lot to do with the political battles over the next two or four years. but from this particular juncture, is there one or two things, three things, that you would recommend to the republican party and how to react to obama and how to renew their appeal and make their case to the public, what would those couple things be? >> well, number one, suicide is not a good option.
suicidal charges, you know, charge elect brigade to the fiscal cliff or if i can mix metaphors, is simply stupid. and the record here is fairly clear, sometimes you don't hold the cards. you hold -- we hold one half of 1/3 of the government. and the idea that you can govern from one house of congress is simply an illusion. you can block and you can strategically make small advances. but i would say given the ambitions of the obama presidency, as you heard in the inaugural address, second inaugural, blocking is a virtue unto itself and would be an achievement unto itself. but if you think that you can use the fiscal cliff which is a tax hike on all americans, the largest in u.s. history, or if you can use the debt ceiling,
which you cannot in the end pull the trigger on, because even though you could probably go without technical default for months and months, it would be catastrophic. it would mean you'd have to cut spending by 40% overnight which you can't do. so unless you can execute the bluff, don't do it because obama will call it, as he called it on january 1 of this year, as he would with the debt ceiling. don't -- if you can't carry out the bluff. i hope you weren't plauding carrying out the bluff, in which case my entire argument is undermined and has gone nowhere. >> i think that's a small contingent against suicidal charges. >> and they are on suicide watch. i hope their shoelaces have been removed. [laughter] >> so you do what i think the house members and their retreat in williamsburg very cleverly did. you pick your fights and don't try to govern from one house to
get very small advances. i thought i recommended last week that in return for a temporary debt ceiling hike of three months, they demand that the senate produce a budget. and they accepted or whatever -- adopted that idea, and they've already succeeded. the senate is now going to produce a budget, which will allow the fight to be a fair fight between democrats and republicans on spending because the other side is finally going to have to show its cards. this is a fairly elementary step. we got it out of them within a day and a half. without having to threaten armageddon. so that's how i think they ought to proceed. secondly, they have to understand that obama is going to try to use administrative actions because the house will block actions by legislation, which is why i'm extremely encouraged by the ruling you may or may not have heard by the first circuit today,
throwing out the nlrb appointment. [applause] >> i've been quite shocked by the open lawlessness of the administration by legislating around congress in a way that i think is clearly unconstitutional. for example, passing the dream act. however you stand on the dream act, it should be done by congress and not by the administration, and it did that. it's as if a conservative had decided to instruct the i.r.s. it would no longer collect capital gains taxes. which would be a way to enact the capital gains tax elimination without congress. we would all be astonished by that and clearly said you can't do it but that's what the dream act was, passed administratively. similarly with the attempt by the h.h.s. department to pass regulations which essentially
undermines the work requirement in the abolition of welfare which is one of the great successes of social policy of the 1990's. that again i think is lawless. i don't know if it's being challenged in the courts. but i think what happens today will give the administration some pause in trying to legislate and to go around the constitution, and particularly in light of what obama said on monday about climate change, i.e., controlling the energy economy, being the central idea of the second term the way that he wants to govern and control things. he knows he can't get any of that through congress. he tried cap and trade and in fact, the democratic senator from west virginia ran and won his campaign by shooting a bullet literally through a copy of that bill. which is interesting implications for gun control. i'm not sure if it was an
assault weapon or a handgun. but it was a bullet and it went right through the copy of it. so you'll get very great resistance in congress on that. and they're going to try to do all of this through e.p.a. so i think trying to be very careful to highlight, have hearings on these kind of, i think, unconstitutional evasions of the congress would be a second element in any strategy. >> where are you on the question, charles, of demographics and whether republicans are just facing inevitable demographic doom with the changing nation of the electorate especially with the increasing importance of latinos and how would you suggest the party addressing that? >> every time a party loses a presidential election, 18 intellectuals write a book saying the party is finished and will never come back. and they're always wrong. i don't believe any of that. i don't believe in the
demographic theories of republican decline. i think as long as the republicans remain the conservative party in the country, they will in time, under the right conditions, will succeed. the reason is year a center-right country, we are and will remain a center-right country. the question i think is, there is one element in that which i think is problematic. and that is that republicans have lost the hispanic vote in a way that i think is gratuitous. i think it is unnecessary. and i think that's one community where if we were running ideologically, we'd win. but there's been some sort of, if you like, ethnic or alienation as a result of some of the things that have been said and some of the policies. the view i have long had on this, and was not a few that i -- a view i woke up with the
morning of election day in november, i went back and saw i wrote this column in the bush years in 2004 when republicans controlled the presidency of the two houses of congress. is that the way to approach the illegal immigration problem was quite simple, majority of americans that we had in fact close the borders, that we were serious about enforcement and it could start with something as simple as a fence and don't tell me that a fence cannot work. the israelis have constructed a fence and defense was meant to keep out terrorists who are far more intense in getting across than a mexican landscaper and it has succeeded to almost 100% in keeping them out. fences work. i don't see why we don't do exactly what the israelis did. and if you can actually reduce -- you will never go to zero -- but if you can reduce the river of illegal immigration to a
trickle, then i think the american people will say, well, if these 11 million are the last cohorts, we will not support them. we will not stigmatize them. if this is the end of this illegal immigration because we have announced serious enforcement, we can overtime legalize them. i would not give them citizenship or a stake in a political future, but would take them out of the shadows and allow them to stay. i think there would be an overwhelming consensus in the country if they were convinced that it was the last cohort. and why do i know that? because that is what ronald reagan thought when he passed the simpson mazzoli act in 1986 or 1987, where he -- also under the belief that the border would close and it would be the last cohort. the problem is that he was swindall law-enforcement. i think it -- he was swindled
in the enforcement of as long as it does not become a magnet for in other cohort of illegal immigrants, i think we could make that case and we could then stop the hemorrhaging of this particular constituency. as to the other constituencies the people say we have inevitably lost, it is generally single women, young people, urban dwellers, and these are more naturally liberal constituencies. they have been and they will be. but there are normally can stitch -- but there are normally conservative constituencies who outnumber them. we lost married women and we lost single women. that is understandable in the cost of ideologies that the parties are presenting. it is the hispanic issue that is an anomaly.
these are immigrants who should be attracted to a philosophy of self improvement, is striving community of openness and free enterprise. so i think we have lost that for reasons of stumbling over the issue of immigration, which is unnecessary. but if you take that out of the equation, there's no reason why any demographic destiny in favor of a liberal political party. >> i would characterize the you are a modified optimist on this. we are now half of all mothers and a 30 are out of wedlock. this is an and schooling social catastrophe. how do you find that trend? is there any hope of reversing it? >> the one thing that i think
has been quite remarkable is that so many social embassies that we have expected but inevitably get worse have reversed themselves. the decline in crime is shocking, nothing that you and i would have predicted. when i was looking this up, the number of homicides in the country are roughly half what they were in 1980. people in new york knew what it was like to be in new york in the 1970's and how different it is today. so these things that we inevitably a tribute to culture to not to be not quite right. it turns out that, with the right kinds of policing, the broken window phenomenon, that you can actually make a difference. i am somewhat alarmed by the rise of the legitimacy. but i go back to my old mentor. he was one of the most
remarkable thinkers i have ever met. he was one of the only conservatives i knew at the time, particularly when things -- when the social issues were the rage and things are going downhill, who had a sort of unshakable the equanimity. he always said the society would work its way out of these problems. and he had a very wry wit. if the marriage was an issue, he would say, well, let them try it. the implication was, they want to suffer, that's fine. [laughter] i am interpreting, but he was not alarmed by these social changes. we once spoke about the fact
that, in france, marriage sort of was nonexistent and people lived together. had he was not in any way -- he was not an alarmist over it. he thought we come in the modern society, with women having been liberated from a lot of things that have held them back in the future work sort of finding your way, groping away to new social arrangements, which would in time sort themselves out and stabilize. so i know the instinct of the conservative is to think that the moral sense and structures are changing. and it has to be for the worst. it is always an adaptation and we have to see how it is on the other ran -- on the other end. i do think that the normal conservative position of perpetual despair is not one that we really need to exceed. we can occasion have a happy day, maybe once a week. [laughter]
may be a sunday. >> let me ask you a little bit about your intellectual journey. what were the factors that turn you to the right? >> and my youngest days, after that marxist weekend, my younger days in college, i was a social democrat, which at the time made me a complete right winger. the norm was marxist and the extreme was maoist. i was sort of a great society liberal. i thought of myself as a cold war level. my childhood hero was henry
jackson, scoop jackson. he ran for the presidency in 1976. i handed leaflets on his behalf at a massachusetts democratic primary, which he did win because of the massive handing out leaflets that i was involved in. [laughter] but he had a problem. he was rather dull. [laughter] he was a great man, i really love him, but he was exceedingly dull in public. if he ever gave a fireside chat, the fire would go out. [laughter] so i was a skid jackson democrat. i had no illusions about the soviets. -- so i was a scoop jackson democrat. i had no illusions about the soviets. he was a disciple of hubert humphrey. so i was a natural democrat.
and he toughened up. one of the things he proposed was that the germans had wanted the americans to develop a neutron bomb. but instead, carter didn't want to do that. so he proposed to put in germany and in britain short range -- medium-range nuclear weapons as an answer to the soviets who had put medium weapons in eastern europe. that was a carter administration policy. reagan comes in in 1981 and democrats completely collapse. >> i was a speechwriter in 1980. i had nothing to do with him in 1984. but he and gary hart ran together to see who was the first to have been forced the nuclear freeze, which was the stupidest idea in the history of the nuclear age. i joined the new republican in 1981 on inauguration by the way. i wrote an editorial denouncing the freeze as an illusion and deception, which incidentally caused the most canceled subscriptions in the history of "the new republic," for which i still take great pride. [laughter] it was announced in an editorial meeting that we had theand he t. most canceled subscriptions and it was also noted that editorial had received the largest number of abusive and angry letters. at which point, i proposed to
the editors a new policy at the magazine that, once a week, we would choose the dumbest of all letters to the editor and we would cancel that person's subscription. [laughter] and write them if there were unworthy and there would be no refund. [laughter] sue us if you want. that idea was not accepted. the business side objected. to make a very long story short, the democrats' collapse and panicked and they became extremely weak and they made every wrong decision in the 1980's. on the contras, on the freeze, just about every issue, on the short term nuclear missiles, on star wars, etc. so that was the party moving away from me from where it was an from where it was historic
the curve remember, there was the cold war liberal caucus in the party. it had scoop jackson and hubert humphrey and moynihan who was also a democrat. it was called the committee for the democratic [indiscernible] that element of the party to which i associated disappeared. it does not exist anymore. on domestic issues, it was simple. i was a great society liberal. then i read charles murray, "losing ground," and for someone who is wanted doctor, i am open to empirical evidence. it was a dallas -- it was a disaster. i began to change on domestic policy and i realize that, however good the intentions of american liberalism and it was destroying a whole sector of society and destroying the
lives, the culture, the resolve, the character of the people it wanted to help. so that is how it happened. they moved on domestic affairs and i moved and i am where i am now. of course, that is a long way to say that i was young once. [laughter] >> q u concern note -- you consider yourself a new conservative? is that a term that is used anymore? >> know. it is now an epithet. it was -- there was wanted someone had a meeting. -- a meaning. today it's usually meant as a silent synonym for jewish conservatism. whenever you hear the word, i challenge the person to describe and explain to you what a new icon is and i guarantee you they will have no answer.
it used to mean somebody who was once a level and became more conservative. the day who was once a liberal and became more conservative -- it used to mean somebody who was once a liberal and became more conservative. 30 years later, it has no meaning at all, except for a pejorative one. >> but me ask you a series of really quick questions. who is your favorite liberal columnist? [laughter] >> if i were to say david [indiscernible] [laughter] i would be misunderstood. that sentence has to be repeated. david is one of the most interesting columnists.
is not a liberal columnist, but i think he is a man who has quite a vision of the two sides and rights very interestingly from somewhere in the middle. so i find him one of the most interesting. i guess that is the best answer i can be without naming other names. >> do you read paul krugman? >> on advice of my counsel -- [laughter] >> d you have any favorite bloggers and you think that the new more open the environment is a good thing? >> you will think this is shameless sucking up, but the best blog out there is national review online. [applause] i look at it every day. the other one i recommend to you is mickey kaus.
he writes a blog that is in the daily collar and he is a brilliant new liberal. he ran against boxer in a primary. he had a budget of about $600. he ran for the senate. but he is an interesting writer. he is a liberal who is extremely open and able to see through arguments in a way that is rare. so if you're going to read a little, you should read him. yes, i think the openness is very good. it is that we basically have democratized the political discourse. the problem is that it will kill the mainstream -- the traditional way of doing business in media. i am not talking about liberal or conservative.
there is nobody that has been able to come up with a business model that will preserve the newspapers in the long run. so i'm not sure where leads. but right now, ladies leading to replace where would we have known for 100 years, whether leading newspapers, magazines, they are on their way to obsolescence. i am not sure that anybody knows what will replace them. >> who is the most formidable opponent to have ever had on the chessboard? >> >> i did play gary kasparov once at a reception for him at my house when he was a rising chess player. i opened with a king-pawn opening preheat responded with a pond asking for and then he offered me a drop. i was in a mood and challenged
him to finish the game. but i is set did -- but i accepted the drop. he is by far the best player i have ever played. but i warn you, as i told him, when you cross before the fifth or sixth time in a row, that it was an extremely unfair match because he had nine years on me to work on his game while i was out here sweating and earning a living. [laughter] so it was just not fair. >> how emotional devastated were you by the national perfect collapse -- the national's horrific collapse last year? >> it made the romney defeat look small. my recovery at the time was about a week and a half. i believe that -- i believe that,
in the model of the brooklyn dodgers, we will get them this year. >> let's hope and up to questions from the audience. we just ask that you keep your questions to 45 seconds and make sure that they are a direct question. >> to questions, as another former physician also in remission, thank you for example. does the acceptance of health care reform lead to a decrease in personal liberty? if so, does that lead to an acceptance of it in other spheres in life? >> that is a difficult question. >> i try. >> what was the word you used? just repeat the first half. the first question. >> does the acceptance lead to a diminishing of personal
liberties? obamacare. >> yes, i think that is inevitable. i think the single most intrusive form of government intervention is nationalizing health care. and i think it has a private- permanent effect on the relationship between citizens and state because it is the most intimate and important of all relationships. once you're in the system and you have expected it, i don't think there is one example in the world of it being undone. i think it will be -- if obama's presidency were to end today, that would be his legacy and it would be a significant one, a historic one trip unless it would somehow -- i don't think it would be repealed, but it does so unworkable that it would even say be a bad thing. so that is my main hope about
it. but, yes, i think it is and it does change the character of the country. >> are there any candidates who, had they run, would have run -- would have won, either mitch daniels or anyone else? >> i think daniels is a good example. you have to read imagine the whole year. but if we had had paul ryan at the top of the ticket -- if we had had -- i heard bobby jindal the other day. you don't know how they would have done on the campaign trail. you have to assume they would have run a strong campaign. but we would have had a very good chance. obama was very lucky in that the economy strengthened at the end, and he was very lucky with sandy, which probably help him in the very end. but if we had a strong candidate, we would've had a very strong election one with year -- one way or the other.
the data mining they were able to do is quite remarkable. but if you run a conservative is a social democrat in this country and you have an even playing field, the social democrats will lose. >> i am the vice chairman of the college republicans at the catholic university of america. going off that last question, who do you think the republicans will pick for the nomination in 2016? and do you think we will win? this is being recorded, charles. so this prediction will come back to you in the future. >> well, some people have approached me. [laughter] [applause] so let me be very straight with you right now. if nominated, i will not run. [laughter] but if elected, i will serve.
i'm just lazy. i've learned from bitter experience not to make predictions, especially ones that are four years off. we have no idea what the world will look like. but i think you know who the range of candidates are. it is not a mystery. i think we will have a very strong ticket in 2016 and i also think that, because i do believe that the path that obama is headed on, that the country is headed on with the tremendous explosion of debt with no desire to do anything about it, the intrusive government and you can endlessly use and attack and exploit the golden goose of the private sector and ordered to feed a nonproductive public-sector, in the and fails. and i think the country will look very different in 2016 than it does now. and it will be easier to make
the ideological argument as a result. if i could just take one second to tell you my favorite anecdote to explain to people when you call obama a social democrat, what exactly do you mean? that is the story about winston churchill after he lost the election in world war ii and clement attlee of the labor party socialist was elected prime minister. a few years later, churchill those out of the men's room in the house of commons and there is at least standing as one of the urinals. don't worry, that is as risky as it gets. there's nobody else in the men's room and churchill goes all the way to the other end of the men's room to 15 stalls over. atlee says, feeling a bit standoffish are we? and churchill says, it is just that every time you see
something large, you want to nationalize it. [laughter] it is probably apocryphal and not true. but as we say in the opinion business, the story is too good to check. so i will leave it with you. >> thank you, charles. first, thank you for all you do. second, a lot of the problems in this country star with the k- 12 education system geared a think a lot of solutions are there, too. i just want your opinion they are. >> i think one of the crimes of american liberalism is confining a generation of inner- city kids to wear life of desperation. [applause]
largely because of the political influence of the teachers' union. and that is becoming more generally recognized. we are sacrificing generation after generation. the limousine liberals, to use an expression from the 1960's, have their kids in the best schools in the world and they pretend to be the champions of the in class while they are ruining their chances in life by a disgraceful public education system. and it is like all other monopolies falling because it doesn't have real competition. and they are afraid of that. because if they were allowed a voucher system where they would really have to compete with a parent who could choose where to go, they would be crushed. until that changes, we will have this continuing problem. and it is the reason for my optimism. this is not an endemic generic problem. yes, in part because of the parental influence, social
influence, the poverty, the disorganized families, the single parent could -- the zero contributors. but this is clearly something that we could change, we can change, and, one day, we will change. and i think that will have a dramatic effect in lifting people out of the despair party that they are lit -- despair of poverty that they are living in. and when you leave that and rectified, then you need a kind of a compensatory system, like affirmative action, which then would pretend that these differences between the children of the elite and the children of the inner-city don't exist and you have to create artificial distinctions on race and other things, which indian
court the minorities even more because it places them in conditions where they cannot succeed, where they would otherwise 60 in other places -- where they would otherwise succeed in other places where their skills would suit them. you go to berkeley law school instead of two different law school in the uc system and you fail. whereas you could very will succeed anywhere else. so i think it has a multiplicative effect, which takes away the life chances of a large sector of americans. that is the core issue here, where society can really do something. it is hard to imagine how you change the culture, how you change the patterns of the family structure. but it does not hard at all how you imagine education and opportunities and denying them i think is a crime. [applause] >> god bless you.
i am wondering how you reconcile the demagoguery of the obama administration as the system by the media resulting in upper-50's approval ratings with your idea that we can settle conservative ideas in the majority. >> everyone wants the country to succeed. everyone wants the president, who is the leader of the country, to succeed. there's nothing unusual about having a higher approval. you have been reelected and this is a new page in the country. the country sees itself as entering a new chapter and wants to succeed. i don't begrudge the president that approval rate. he did win the election. he did win over half of the electorate. and he supports -- he deserves the support he has. i think in time, the policies he is proposing, will be
demonstrably-. both -- demonstrably negative. both at home and abroad. the consequences will be very different in the future. i am not hoping for that. but if you believe -- if you're a conservative many believe the policies he is pursuing the wrong ones, it will reflect that. but i think that, by instinct, by inclination, by philosophy, by tradition, by history, america is a center-right country and it will obviously -- we have a rotation of power. we have these alternations. often concentrations of pair fail and are thrown out of office and the other side gets a chance. but overall, a few make the case, you will -- if you make the case, you will win these kinds of elections. i do think there's a sense of hope in the country, which i
don't begrudge. and if obama were to follow policies that were to succeed, i think you'd have to change his course. i am not sure he wants to. i don't see gave any inclination he will. i think he would deserve the support of all. >> we probably have time for one more question. >> i feel confident like you do that the republicans will win the next presidential election. we should have won at this time, but next time we will for sure. in the meantime, do you think it is a likely scenario that obama has in his mind the fond hope that he can get someone elected on the democrats' side like biting or someone like sam -- like biden or someone like him that he can exert his influence on and continue his socialism?
>> i would caution you on using the word socialism. it is too broad a term. it encompasses all kinds of socialism, including the nasty totalitarian examples. i would caution you to use social democrat because that is what he is. he is in a tradition -- i am a little wary of using that. i think you either to identify him as somebody whose ideas are more european, which he sees more of a just society with more equality.
he denies our side in looking our ideology and the set of ideas that we believe. but lily he tried to choose a successor? i don't know. -- but will he try to choose a successor? i don't know. obama, i think he thinks he sees himself as a reagan-like president. he said ronald reagan was historical in a way that clinton was not. he said reagan had changed the ideological trajectory of the country, which had been on a liberal trajectory. he changed overnight, which led to a 30-year conservative trajectory. halfway between reagan and
obama, you had a president of the democratic party who declared the era of big government was over. and then abolishing welfare. he sees himself as the man who will reverse the course. he started with obamacare and he has continued it with the stimulus. historically high for peace time since world war ii. he sees is next step is to raise the levels of taxation. if you want european levels of entitlement, and you'll have to have european levels of taxation. he sees himself as establishing the foundations of the more social democratic society. i thinks he thinks he can do
enough in the two terms to establish that. i think our task as conservatives is to understand exactly what he wants to do, how he wants to do it, it to give it a modicum of understanding, and to say that we think the united states is different fundamentally from europe. we put much more emphasis of the individual on liberty versus a quality. there is a reason there is a statue of liberty, not a statue of the quality. bemis strengthen civil society, we will emerge with a more -- when we strengthen and civil
society, we will emerge. that is the case we ought to make. we should take this task on seriously and to make society, we will emerge. the ideological, the intellectual argument. if we do it well and appeal to the more american individualistic tradition, we will succeed. that is the reason for my optimism. it is sort of independent of who the individuals are at present the case on the other side. we simply have to make the case. if we do come up we will win. thank you very much. -- if we do, we will win. thank you very much. [applause] [cheers and applause]
>> denied on c-span, elected the presidential debates last year. who will hear from the journalists that moderated the debates. that is live at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. a bipartisan group of senators today unveiled legislation to change immigration laws. president obama traveled to las vegas to discuss emigration plans. you concede the speech live on c-span just before 3:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow. and on wednesday, a senate judiciary.
mark kelly has been the former congresswoman get real difference. also testifying national rifle association ceo. live on c-span wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. and on thursday, a confirmation hearing for chuck hagle. his confirmation hearing is live on c-span thursday at 9:30 a.m. eastern. ♪ >> if we turn away from the needs of others, we align ourselves with those forces that are bringing about this suffering. >> of the white house as a bully pulpit and you ought to take
advantage of it. >> it is nothing short of a public health crisis. >> and when somebody had their own agenda. >> i think they served at the window on the path to what was going on with american women. >> she is really the only one in the world he can trust. >> many of the women were first lady's work writers. >> there are more interesting as human beings than their others. >> first and foremost limited by political ambition. >> both a socially adept and politically savvy. >> mrs. monroe hated it.
including't without what women want and what women have to contribute. >> there was too much looking down and i think it was a little too fast. not enough change of pace. the trouble with the most tragic of all of our first ladies. >> she later wrote in her memoir that she said i never made any decision. i only decided what was important and when to present it to my husband. that is a lot of power. >> prior to the battle against cancer is to fight beefier that -- to fight the fear that accompanies the disease. >> she changed the way that we look at it and made it possible
for countless people to survive. and to flourish as a result. i do not know how many presence -- presidents, realistically, have had that kind of impact. >> i am constantly reminded of all the people that have lived there before and particularly, all of the women. >> first ladies, their private and public lives. c-span is teaming up with the white house historical association for a first of its kind, first ladies influence and image peering over two seasons beginning presidents' day at 9:00 eastern and pacific. >> last year, hawaii elected its first female senator.
she is the first asian woman to serve in the senate. another first in hawaii, tulsi gabbard is the first hindu to serve in congress. and in the crystal commenced military operations in iraq and afghanistan and was fired in 2010 after making critical comments about the obama administration in rolling stone. he spoke in washington today about his experiences in iraq and afghanistan. he was introduced by foreign policies dollars for the brookings institution. -- foreign policy officers for the brookings institution. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to brookings. thanks for coming out. it is an unusual treat, even at a place where we have such amazing events, to have general stanley mcchrystal here today. i am mike o'hanlon, one of the members of the 21st century defense initiative. we are hosting this event with bruce riddell, who runs the -- first readout -- bruce riddell -- bruce riedel.
general mcchrystal build up an organization into what was the state-of-the-art capability that ultimately led not only to our topic of today, the tracking and ultimate killing of the al qaeda terrorist zarqawi, but also many of the procedures that led to the finding and killing of bin laden. the success of joint special operations command is one of the most important stories in the broader war on terror. we are honored that roos will be -- bruce riedel will be interviewing general mcchrystal this morning. this is based on the recent book, which i hope you a purchase, which we are proud to be discussing, my share of the task -- "my share of the task," its describes the role of not
only command, but also other military personnel and international personnel that he worked with. just a couple more words about our panelists. bruce was a 30-year cia veteran before joining brookings in 2006. at the cia, he did a number of things >> including working at -- number of things, including working at nato headquarters. he was an advisor to four president. -- presidents. he led the afghanistan-pakistan review. bruce has written two books in his time here. a third is about to come out. the first two were about al qaeda. the search for al qaeda and the deadly embrace. the new book coming out next month is "avoiding armageddon." it is about the us -- pakistan -- u.s.-pakistan relationship.
general stanley mcchrystal spent 34 years in the new oteri. he was -- in the military. he was the director of the joint staff. in military circles, this five- year. of -- five-year period of joint special operations command is what makes them memorable and historic. the reality is that he has done more to carry the fight to al qaeda since 2001 than any other person in this department, possibly in the country. after that, bob gates got up, and the secretary of defense called him one of the finest men at arms this country as ever produced, then continued over the past decade, no single
american has inflicted more fear and more loss of life on our country most vicious and violent enemies than dan mcchrystal -- stan mcchrystal. that makes him sound pretty scary. well he was certainly scary to our enemies, he is an amazing -- while he was certainly scary to our enemies, he is an amazing american. i want to share a very brief vignette. his emphasis on reducing civilian casualties was one of the most important aspects of the strategic initiatives that he brought to bear when commander there. i had the honor of seeing president karzai in the spring of 2011, a few months afterstan had -- after stan had come home. president karzai said, please tell general mcchrystal that we appreciate his service, that he is such a friend to the afghan people, that i always appreciated the concern he had for the afghan people as he did his job, dealing with a vicious enemy. these join me in welcoming general stanley mcchrystal to brookings -- lease join me in welcoming -- please join me in welcoming general stanley
mcchrystal to brookings. [applause]>> thank you for coming. it is a privilege to be on the platform with you. thank you for that very generous introduction. we are going to have a conversation for the first half or so of the hour and a half that we have. i will ask the general a bunch of questions. at about 10:45, maybe later, we will open it up to questions from you. it is an honor to have you here today. this is the maiden voyage of the brookings intelligence project. the brookings intelligence project is a new effort to try to resolve the riddle of intelligence successes and failures, the it name of why intelligence is sometimes brilliantly -- the enigma of
white intelligence is sometimes brilliantly successful and other times -- of why intelligence is sometimes brilliantly successful and other times spectacular failures. one of the great successes is behind for zarqawi -- the hunt for zarqawi. why should we care about a dead jordanian? zarqawi's legacy remains with us today. the terrorists who this month attacked a natural gas facility in algeria, al qaeda and the islamic -- they almost worship of -- worship abu musab al- zarqawi. he is a more popular icon even then osama bin laden. the man who carried out and planned the attack in algeria is a self-described devotee of sarkar we. he sees himself as very much -- of zarqawi. he sees himself as very much an
acolyte of the late zarqawi. al qaeda in iraq has produced an offshoot, the almonds rough -- the al-musra front. he may be dead, but he is still with us. i would like to ask for your impressions of zarqawi, looking back now. how serious and dangerous a figure he was half a decade ago. why he was at the top of the list of people to go after during the war on iraq. >> it is a pleasure. i am a devotee of mike o'hanlon and a friend for a long time. thanks for being here. it is great to see you, bruce, one of my heroes in terms of intelligence. to be interrogated by the cia -- i will try not to break.
[laughter] abu musab al-zarqawi was from a lower middle class background. he became radicalized while in prison. then became associated with al qaeda near the end of the mujahedin. in afghanistan -- mujahedin period in afghanistan. he had been in iraq before, but he appeared on our radar the mujahedin. screen at the end of 2003. he had already started to build an al qaeda in iraq infrastructure that leveraged sunni fear. it is pretty important to view how we saw it. i took over in the fall of 2003. i went to iraq. i got there in october.
immediately, it was obvious to me that the situation in iraq was much worse than it appeared from from afar. i was coming out of the pentagon. it was clearly unsettled. it looked much worse than we had thought. the first hope was that if we got saddam hussein, that would solve the problem. we made an effort to do that. appeared from from afar. in december, we picked up saddam. it became obvious that, as one of my guys described, a bunch of former miss -- regime guys were not really running the beginning of the resistance, the beginning of the insurgency. zarqawi had started to build a network that took trained people, or iraqi sunnis -- trained people, iraqi sunnis, who had been dislocated from their position in society, sometimes government, sometimes military might and they were terrified of the shia, which was going to be dominant in the
future. you had this combination of factors that was fear of the future, frustration against foreign invaders, and then -- not as much religious extremism as sometimes is perceived. it was not really an al qaeda religious movement. it was a political movement, but he got leveraged by some very clever work by people like abu musab al-zarqawi. we were very sure he was there at the beginning of early 2004. we started to track his work. in the spring of 2004, when falluja became the first spot in the country where they held ground -- they actually, al qaeda and the sunni, elements working with them at that hope oh -- point, held at bay the forces for a couple of months.
it was pure what they had built was not only thoroughly passionate, but it was also extensive. zarqawi was an interesting role. to get to the heart of the question, there was a question about -- an issue about did he really matter. the answer is yes, he did. he mattered in a big way. zarqawi became an organizational leader eared he also became an iconic leader -- a leader he also became an iconic leader -- zarqawi became an organizational leader. he also became an iconic leader. he was very low-key, very charismatic. he was an effective, in-your- face leader, but he would also leverage the ability to use mass media. he would put out these radio or internet talks where he would praise groups around the
country. i remember we captured one of -- he was praising different groups, essentially going geographic area to geographic area and pumping up the morale of each area. it was pretty powerful. it made him look like he was controlling them all, which he was indirectly doing, but it was also very motivational. it made them feel like they were part of a bigger entity. he latched them to that very effectively. he started to become the actual, operational leader, and the moral leader, and that increased over time. his goal was to create a civil war. his strategy was to get a sunni-shiite schism to erupt into a civil war. arguably, he succeeded before we killed him with the bombing of the mosque in the spring of 2006. that was the fuse that started what looked and felt up close
like a civil war. he became hugely powerful. although we killed him in june, what he had done carried on after that. >> you just described it as you do in the book, that he created a network of networks. in the book, you lay out how your task force then had to create a network to go after the network. your network was a classic example of the intelligence cycle at work. can you give us a sense of how that network worked, how it evolved, what the pieces of it were, and, ultimately, the speed with which you were turning things around from collections exploitation? >> sure. i grew up when we thought of terrorist groups as narrowly bounded, with a few people in
them. if you are able to decapitate it, you cause the problem to stop. at the beginning of the war against al qaeda, as bruce knows well, we started with a strategy called 2+7. that was osama bin laden, zoller he read, the others -- if you take out -- as i went he re--- zawahiri, the others -- if you have a bounded number of people, you go after them like a deck of cards. you eliminate them, problem solved.
that does not apply to a networked enemy. if you think of what a terrorist group has to do, if you see a car bomb go off in baghdad against a target, somebody had to have chosen the target. somebody had to have built the car bomb. somebody had to have assembled all of the components to the car bomb. somebody had to find somebody to place the car bomb. if it was driven, he had to find a suicide bomber. somebody had to make that car bomb worthwhile. what i mean by worthwhile is typically, they would film it and put the film out so they got much greater value out of the explosion. if you start to think of all these -- you are talking about leadership at the top, command and control, communications, fairly rapid, logistics, sometimes very significant amounts of logistics, when you have 14 car bombs going off a day in baghdad, it is a big logistics chain. talking about recruiting, assessing, training, and moving people into position.
you've got a human resources part of this thing. you are talking about security elements that are doing your counter-intelligence to make sure you are not penetrated. it is a big organization that has got all the functions of a very comfy lex organism. -- very copmlex -- complex organism. it becomes extraordinary effective because there is a reach everywhere. if you think all you have to do is get mr. big, you miss the point. you cannot just say, well, i'm going to stop car bombs or just do this. we went back and looked at the strategic bombing survey of germany after world war ii -- world war ii. there is no single thing. you have to destroy the enemy's
network. which meant, for us, you had to go not at the very top, but down to the people who actually do work. field grade officers and senior co's. you had to carve that out and destroy that and then let the network collapse. to do that, you have to have a network that layers on top of that. we do not naturally do that in u.s. organizations. we have a tendency to be more stovepiped. there are military organizations, special operations, conventional forces, political parts, public affairs -- we tend to be fairly bounded. the special operations part traditionally never did public affairs eared we would never talk about what we did eared unlike al qaeda, who would do an action and then leverage that
-- public affairs. we would never talk about what we did. unlike al qaeda, who would do in action and then leverage that, we do not do that. similar to the intelligence community, they were loath to share that with other parts of the force. the idea is to protect sources, methods, and whatnot. instead, we will just give people enough information to go do something. what we found is you cannot do it that way. you cannot have the blind man looking at the elephant -- we had a network that was not wide enough -- not only wide enough to have a different type of capabilities. we learned it had to be lightning fast. when we started -- when i became involved in the fall of 2003, and i write this in the book in a fair amount of detail.
i went to visit our elements in the battlefield. we had about 14 or 15 locations. we had a big headquarters at the baghdad international airport. there would be a team of 15 operators, an intel guy, and a tac-sat radio. their physical pipe, their bandwidth back to us was limited. they could send e-mail and make phone calls. when it came time to send imagery, send large documents, it was painfully slow, so they did not. similarly, when they tried to draw on those things from our headquarters, you really could not. we might have one intel person for it. they are so busy they don't have time to leverage all the information that the headquarters intelligence is making available, nor do they have time to send it.
>> an element would do a raid and they would capture a bag of doughnuts, whatever, and get phone, computer, documents, what not. those would be put in a bag, a sandbag, one of the burlap sandbags or a plastic garbage bag. they would be sent back to the headquarters with a tag saying here is stuff we captured. the problem is by the time it got back to the headquarters to be taken into where we did that and it would be stacked up and it would be exploited as we call, red, translated when we got to it. when i first took over, i saw stacks of plastic bags. there might have been a map in there that said this is where zarqawi was today. we wouldn't know until we were reading them weeks later and a lot never got read and our ability to exploit computers was painfully slow. so as a consequence, everything you got was delayed, so speed
became the relevance. if you couldn't do it fast, there was almost no point in doing it. if you cooperate interrogate someone you captured from a target effectively, there was no point in doing a raid. you're better until you can just interrogate. it's all about intelligence. i always hated to admit it to people. as an operator, a successful mission is an operational stroke of genius. anything that fails is an intelligence failure. j.s.o.c. was 80% intelligence. we got in the morning thinking about intelligence. that's what i worked on. that's what the focus became. operations was something we did to get more intelligence. and intelligence is what i would say that intelligence operatives is what our operators became. people who are traditional shooters by 2005 and 2006 they thought of themselves as intelligence people who carried a gun. it was an amazing difference.
>> you describe it as a formula at one point, find, fix, finish, exploit, and analyze. can you explain how that cycle works? >> sure. if i was to describe that in a sequence, you have to find a target, know about it. you have to fix it in real-time. you have to get it at a certain place now. you have to finish, capture, or kill that target. you have to exploit whatever you get from it and you have to analyze what you have gotten. it's sort of like a progressive is -- assembly line idea. if you draw it in a circle, that takes you back to the find and you go. the problem that we found is that's a targeting cycle that has been used, a problem solving cycle that are used in a lot of cases. what we found is if you take each of those elements and they are performed by different
organizations, if the find element is done by some human intelligence and some signals intelligence by different agencies and then it is passed to the people who are going to fix it which is often down by aerial platforms, predators and things like that or we send agents out to see it, if they're done by different agencies, by the time this one gets it the way they want it, because everybody wants to give a perfect finished product, they pass to the next one, it's slow and there is a cultural difference in the way it's passed so it's not, you don't get 100% clarity of information, then you fixed it in real-time and then they say, ok, i'm going to pass to the finish force, you have got this what we call blinks in the system. they are time delays but they're also information delays or information loss. so the finish force theoretically is this group of
big shoulders guy. someone kicks the door open and they go number 10 north street. they don't know anything about number 10 north street except they ought to go there. when they go there to do it and they're told to pick up this guy, they go pick up the guy. they don't have the context and understanding, one, their hearts are not as much in it and they don't know exactly what to look for. actually the most important part of the operation was exploit and analysis. it's what you get out of it. it's what you know. what i'll tell earn, the people who win the next war aren't the people with the most of anything except who knows the most. it's who understands fastest. it's a fight for knowledge and that, who can do that quickest. that's essentially what iraq became, a fight for knowledge. our finish forces were the bein the world when we started. they were amazingly good already with that. go anywhere, win any fire
fight, hit any target, extraordinary. that turned out to not be the problem. the problem was understanding what we got and driving that into more targets. we learned that first you can't have a truncated system with different organizations controlling parts of it, one, because no one is completely responsible, hey, i'm doing a great job of finding, it must be someone else's problem. you must have a wholistic thing with somebody who is driving it plus a sense that everybody is responsible and everybody gets credit. now, that's harder to do, but that became the core of making our network work. that became the cycle. when we started, it might take us, if we hit a target on day one, it might take us two weeks to get that information digested and get to a second follow-on target. by 2006, we were doing three turns a night off the intelligence from the first target. the second two targets we would mow nothing about, but we would
have grabbed information, digested that information, turned that into an opportunity and move. that became the big revolution for us. >> you not only have to of course do this in the field, but you have to work with the great enemy, washington and all of the different agencies of the united states government involved in intelligence, collection, and analysis. in the book, you talk about the c.i.a. and you have a great sentence in which you say the c.i.a. was your most productive partner but also the most infuriating partner you dealt with. after 30 years, i can endorse that 100%, especially the infuriating part, but i would like you to explain what you meant by productive and infuriating with regard to the c.i.a. >> sure. >> i start off with the precepts that nobody is irrational or evil. there are a few people who challenge that thesis, but for the most part, people i have dealt with, they operate
rationally. if you look at the war on terror, it is an exercise in collaboration, integration and sin crownization. that's what it is. that's why 9/11 happened. it happened, we couldn't pull it together. that's what makes the operations hard. there were several levels to it. first there is organizationally culture. the military has many cultures inside it and different tribes. if you pull that all together, you say there is a general d.o.d. culture, it's sort of big. it's sort of like kinetic. it's like a big puppy with big paws in intelligence work, nose at refined as other intelligence agencies. the c.i.a. is more refined, more professional in intelligence, a bit secretive, which is understandable, doesn't play well with others, which is understandable and there are cultural equities to
be protected, not just to protect credit but also because there is a worry that if we spread these things and we bring other elements and what's going to happen is we will lose some of our effectiveness. we will lose our ability to do exactly what it is we have to do. so the consequence, you had the constant cultural tension between the c.i.a. in that case and joint special operations command that you have to deal with. you're trying to pull these elements together because they need each other. the raid in 2010 couldn't have happened in 2004, couldn't have happened culturally. could have had the information, but couldn't have gotten that close. reportedly it was a c.i.a. command and control operation. all of the pieces were there in 2004, but we didn't have the cultural practically to that. what we had had to do is start to pull task forces together
that had all of the elements in them. you start by bringing people forward and operating in a single location. that's far from d.c. which is good and the typically young people, they tend to meld, they're getting pulled by their home offices. not just the c.i.a., but every participant. we had some participants that would come and form this joint interagency task force and who they had sent to contribute was who they wanted out of their offices whoever they were literally. there was some pretty amazingly poor talent. on the other hand, other agencies would send superstars. some agencies would send people and say, whatever you do, don't give any of our information, secrets, don't negotiate our equities away. you have to open up and build this. it was a multi-year process for us breaking down walls.
of course, they get rebuilt very quickly and had to build a lot of personal relationships. some of my closest friends in the world now are people that i started this process with that it just took us a long time to develop bonds of trust. what worries me about peace-time is obviously what we want is you sort of all go back to your own corners. there is not the forcing function. there is not the burning platform that said we got to cooperate. you all believed generally in the idea of cooperation, but it's not something you believe in. it's an active thing you do. it's not magnets that come together. it's magnets in opposition. it takes people to hold them together. i think that will always be the case of that's the big challenge. >> just as a footnote, over 30 years i saw time and time again how the creation of a new entity in the c.i.a. was always the place where anyone who didn't work out was immediately shipped off to that vitally important new entity which
started with the d-team instead of a-team. let me turn to some of the specific weapons or aspects of this intelligence struggle. one, of course, is the use of unmanned vehicles known as drones in the united states. the drone program in had afghanistan and pakistan is becoming increasingly controversial. one thing that your book does as well is orient your understanding that it started really in iraq. that's when we began using the drone as a reconnaissance mechanism. can you talk about how important the u.a.v. became for your operations and especially the operation to find zarqawi in the end. >> absolutely. bruce knows the back end. the predator, i'll describe that and refer to a whole bunch of different aircraft, some
manned, some not, gave us full-time, full motion video. let us watch something essentially with a tv camera from up above for long periods. when i first got there in 2003, there weren't many assets at all. you had a certain number of hours in a day and there was a big fight over who would get them. we weren't quite sure how to use them. early you would try to go cover an operation and the beauty of covering an operation, if you traditionally did a raid, you needed 120 people because 20 were actually going to go on the target, in the target, 100 were going to provide security, support, command and control around the target. when we could see around the target with clarity all the time, suddenly we realized we didn't those 100. we could accept the risk and just put 20 on the target which allowed us to use fewer aircraft, fewer people, which allowed us to hitting one target with 120 to hit six targets. huge change.
so that knowledge, that situational awareness was a huge difference for us. the second thing we did was we learned very rapidly, looking at the operation was important, but setting up the operation was more important. targeting was what we started to learn. we didn't perfect that for a time. there was an operation in the fallujah in the summer of 2004. we had been doing operations and what not but because al qaeda and the sunnies that were in fallujah essentially were besieged there, the only way we could get inside effectively was to watch it from above. there was a little bit of signal intelligence, a little bit human, but nothing very impressive. we started the process of very focused target development on places to learn pattern of life. we would watch the same life or the same vehicle move. we would chart this down and start to build an understanding of what happened as though you're above watching your
neighborhood all the time. suddenly you know who hangs out together, where they go, you know the relationships. we had an operation called big ben that i cover in a lot of detail in the book because we captured a book of ammunition and weapons as it left fallujah and went to, towards baghdad where of course they were in use for car bombs and what not and we were able to basically follow that back for information to a house inside fallujah. we watched that house. we watched the comings and goingings and we became convinced it was a cache of weapons all of which were being used. this is one of the first times that we identified the target with that kind of precision just from aerial observation. so we nominated it for us to do a raid, a ground raid there and put some of our delta force operatives and others on the target. at a point the decision was made not to do that because of the fire fight likely to ensure, but we were given
authority to do a bombing raid on the target. so this was really the first proof of principal for us in this kind of vumet. we made the decision in the morning. it was well after light. we conducted a strike on the house and when it hit the target, i mean we're literally watching, i'm sitting there, my stomach is in knots is because not only was it to take out the weaponry, it was really important to take out what we could do. you're worried about collateral damage, since and what not. we got the explosion from the bomb and there is two or three seconds of nothing. we're just sitting there going, then suddenly the second dares go out. they go out for about 20 minutes. it is extraordinary what we had hit in that play. that was almost a validation of what we were doing because eventually what we learned is we could use a combination of things, most noticeably the full-motion video but a number of moving target indicators to develop pattern of life, to
follow people, vehicles, and things, identify targets to hit so increasingly our precision went up when we went to a place, the percentage of time in which we found and captured or killed our target was extraordinarily high and it went up the whole war. in august of 2004, my force did 18 raids in all of iraq which we thought was just break neck pace. every other night we're doing a raid. two years later in august, 2006, same month, we did 300 raids a month, 10 a night. yet our percentage of effectiveness on targets went up. the accuracy of our intelligence was higher and the effectiveness on the targets was higher. it was a fascinating correlation. i got with the other generals and i said if you double the amount of full motion video on vehicles we get, we were in competition with other
organizations for this, we will more than double our effectiveness against the enemy. they did and we did. we went up more than twice when we doubled it. it shows you the effectiveness of those particular systems. >> you are, of course, fighting a great result really war, an unmanned aerial vehicle, by definition, has no pilot to give a medal to. how do you make sure that the guy who is coming up with the precision plan to make sure that the right drone is in the right place at the right time gets as much credit as the soldier who actually pulls the or the pilot that drops the bomb? >> yeah, you hit a cultural point that was really key. most of the u.a.d.s were flown from the united states, the actual people on the stick. whether they are good people or not, they're a long way from you. after the operation, they're
not in the mess hall with you. you're not getting that cultural touch. at the beginning of the war, we had quite a disconnect. at one point we're watching this target and suddenly the u.a.v. turns around and leaves. of course, i'm losing my mind and i would choked the guy but he was thousands of miles away. [laughter] >> so we asked what are you doing? he said weather is coming in and i don't want to risk this unmanned aerial vehicle. >> let it cash. stay on this target. he had been given one set of criteria, one set of what is important. good person, good decisions, wrong decision for what we needed. fly that thing until it crashed if it accomplished its mission. we put hourlyies sitting right next to them, we started doing
video teleconferencing. we had them visitis. knitting them together missionwise and culturally. they need the context and they need to get credit. if they do a good job, they have to understand they were part of the operation that did it. i went to england in 2007 and i went to their equiff lent and sat across from -- equivalent and sat across from a young female analyst and she talked about her part in afghanistan. her eyes were burning like embers. i have not felt such passion and pride. she felt she was central to this thing as if she had had stood over his dead body. she had been that central. it's very important that that cultural each, everybody is responsible for success and failure as well. >> i like to remind people that as brilliant as the u.a.v.
drone system is, at the end of the day, there has to be someone who tells it where to fly. which in many cases, not all cases, is usually a human source. in the hunt for zarqawi, it's clear that the debriefing of a detainee was vitally important to the outcome. we know from certain movies floating around that detainee interrogation is a very important issue. of course, that raises the question of how you interrogate detainees. in the book, you are about as clear as anyone i have ever seen. you say torture is "self-defeating." you describe the very elaborate steps you took to make sure that any detainee in your chain of command was not abused and
was housed in a facility, it wasn't a five-star hilton, but it was an appropriate facility and at one point you said to your troops that anyone who was involved in detainee abuse would be court-martialed and expelled from the task force. why do you feel that torture and how you handle detainees is so important to winning this conflict? >> yeah, that's a great question, bruce. let me first give -- people talk about the issue of whether torture works in getting people to talk. that's almost an academic argument. i'm sure that sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. i don't know. you really want people to cooperate because they have some reason to cooperate, not just the aversion to physical pain or fear. when a person is first captured, they're frightened and particularly we found in
iraq or afghanistan, they're disoriented. you do want to use that. you don't want them to feel particularly comfortable or sure about their future. at the same time you do want them to come to a conclusion that they want to provide information. the video who ultimately helped us locate the spiritual visor for abu musab al-zaqawi, it took weeks of talking to him, day after day after day. we were working on the sense of his family, we were working on the shame of being part of al qaeda in iraq, we were working on emotions but we weren't threatening or abusing him. i'm very convinced that was the right mode because once you get somebody to cooperate for the reason that they think is good, that's important. why don't you torture if it does work? it's because it works two ways. it works on the torturer.
first, i think it corrodes an individual's sense of values, whether or not you believe that the ends justifies the means, once you cross a line to torturing unarmed detainees, it's difficult to see yourself as morally right. it is difficult to hold yourself to a set of values that you have to have. and so it starts to corrode individuals. i also thinks it starts to corrode the force. the force starts to believe that certain things are ok now. now, understand there is a great pressure on forces pulling you toward both killing people and potentially mistreating detainees. it's easy for us to sit in washington, d.c. and say we would never do that. but when you are covered in blood, when you go into torture chambers and see what some of these guys have done to each other and to captives, when you see your partners who have
sometimes been tortured and executed, it is harder to stay away from that pull. so let's make sure we're not too theoretical about that. you have to because it corrodes the force. look at the french and algeria, look at previous times. it starts you down paths i don't think you can come back from. the other thing, of course, the most damaging thing that happened to us in the entire war on terror was in anu grabe. the perception in much of the islamic world was this was proof positive that all of the negative things said about america were in fact now hard and fast in had photographs, although we know it to be an aberration by a bunch of casually brutal prison guards that i think were not effectively supervised, that's what we believe, that's what i believe, it validated a lot of
the impression for al qaeda. i can't tell you how many fighters came because of ab grube. once they came and jazzed up, essentially, most of them had to be killed. they used abu grabe to light the fire on that. if you're doing that or perceived you're doing that, it's extraordinarily damaging to your cause long term. you have to think long term on all of these. you can't think what is best today. >> one of the many great things about your book is you tell us the historical figures that influenced your thinking. i was really struck by one. here you are fighting in the middle of a desert in the 21st century and you looked for
inspiration and leadership to horatio nelson, a naval commander two centuries before. you say in the book that his leadership style became the leadership style that made your network succeed. can you explain why horatio nelson is so important to us 205 years after the battle of trafalgar? >> absolutely. i had always been interested in him. the more i red about him, the more i understood the similarity. unlike some of the competitive navies, the french or spanish navy. the british navy, they had to start as a midshipmen and do everything on the ship, had to be able to navigate, had to do everything as they worked themselves up. they were not the aristocacy.
they were middle class people who became highly professional and competent. their crews were built on being highly professional and competent. as you know to a degree, crews benefited when they captured or destroyed an enemy ship because there was prize money. to a degree, they became entrepreneurs as one author, nicholson said, they became entrepreneurs of battle. and what nelson understood was they were self-motivated and extraordinarily competent entities. and what he had to do was move them into position where those motivations and those talents could be put in position. he didn't have to five the fight for them. he didn't have to micromanage what they did. he had to build them into confident, capable, self-contained crews and leaders, maneuver them into position where they could have
the effect that he wanted and do it. that was very similar to where i found myself, although we have great communications infrastructure now and there is this temptation to micromanage because actually i would watch everyone of our operations simultaneously because we had all of these screens up and we had the ability over our radio system to put all of our radios into our computer network, our top secret computer network. so technically i could talk down to squad level in any force we had, even when we had 19 strike forces operating on any target so i could watch it and i could talk down to the most junior leader. i never did that, but technically i could do it. what i found is that's not the way to succeed. it's not even the way to succeed to tell them exactly what to do. in the normal hierarchical background that i have been brought up with, information
goes up, the great person makes decisions and the junior person implements them. sometimes you don't know, but that was too slow for what we do. i could never understand the situation as well as they did. what we did was turn them upside down. my function was to make them understand what is important and tell them generally what i wanted to have happen. then at their level, two things happened, one, they were much more effective because they could add just to the battle. i didn't tell them what targets to hit or when to hit them. they're going on the target, they ought to have that decision. in the process, they also owned it. you think about it. if somebody tells you exactly how to do something, you just go do it. someone says i want you to solve this problem, you become wedded to how you do it because it's your solution and have a certain amount of pride and want your solution to come right. nelson did that and i learned a
lot studying him. >> you have already said it, you say it also in the book. in many ways we may have gotten zarqawi too late. he had already set the trap and ignited the fuse. looking back and hindsight is always 20/20, what could we have done better in 2003 and 2004, the opening gate that would have not ended up in the nightmare in 2006 and 2007, this is not to be critical, but this is learning from experience. >> when we went to iraq, we didn't know enough. we didn't understand the forces at work. we didn't understand the situation. saddam hussein had this thing held together with chewing gum and
bailing wire . when those things were unhinged, not only did sectarian frustrations come up --they were not a civil war waiting to happen. when you cut everything else, you suddenly caused things to happen. you are a civil servant who lives in baghdad. you have a job in the government. you are in the -- you lose your job, either because you are a baptist -- bathist, or because things happen. it is 125 degrees in the summer. you don't have electricity. you have no job. you have a wife, several children.
deborah things have happened. one, you did not like saddam hussein, but you had a job here you could take care of your family. you did not have foreigners driving around, looking as though they are occupiers, whether they are or not. you get all the negatives of seeing a foreign opposing power, none of the positives of having saddam hussein off the throne. life got worse. as resistance started and violence occurred, you could not be protected from that. the worse it got, you now have all of these physical and economic problems and life is not safe. at least under saddam, if you did not oppose the government, you had a certain guarantee to your life. so, we took away the positives -- the few positives that saddam hussein gave. we introduced a number of negatives. we allowed other negatives to rise up. we did not offer clear hope. in the spring of 2003, we have a certain. of support -- period of support from the iraqi people. they started, in the late summer and early fall of 2003, not to believe that things were going to get better, that it was going to get worse. people started to do what was
rational behavior. they started to do things with the sunni resistance or to join the sunni -- shia militia. it looked like it was going to batten down for a fight. we could have done a number of things to try to do that better. we could have put a much more professional effort in working with the government. the government, as you know, did not exist in the spring of 2003. we could have put more security in place. the worst thing about putting any kind of occupying foreign force in somewhere, if you are going to put any, you better put enough. you put enough to create the negative and you don't create the positive -- they would have liked order. there were a number of things. it also goes back to we did not know enough. we did not take it seriously
enough early. when this thing started to get ugly, we did not -- we, the military, we, the intelligence agencies, we did not look at what we would have to do for a long war. learn to speak arabic. have professionals who would deal with this for a long time, not just people coming in for one to her and not gaining expertise. the army did not really get a lot better -- in for one tour and not gaining expertise. the army did not really get a lot better at it until 2006. >> time for your questions. these again if i your self. -- please identify yourself. >> thanks for everything you have done and continue to do for our country. one thing you alluded to is the problem with tribes. you were a key implementer of
breaking down the tribes within special operations. along the same lines, breaking down the tribes between conventional forces. what they are trying to do right now is a huge initiative, a balance tween direct and indirect support -- between direct and indirect support. any comments? >> i think he is on the right track, which does not surprise me. the tribal part is so much more powerful and dangerous than we think. you have all these great organizations that are very good at what they do and what they want to do, but that does not mean they fit together.
early in the war, we would do these wonderful special operations raids into an area where a conventional force had responsibility. we do great ear and we would very happy with ourselves, -- we do great. we would be very happy with ourselves. but the impact in that neighborhood had to be dealt with by the conventional forces. that would cause them more problems than the problem we solved, at least arguably. if they did not understand the context of what we were doing in the bigger picture, they see it as all negative. we think we are on a mission from the president. therefore, what we do is more important than what they do. until we started to marry those together, we did not get synergy. part of that was just pride. part of it was cultural background. my community was very secretive. we were very proud of that. over time, we found out that doing things in secret sometimes is worse than opening it up quite a bit. that was part of it. how you break down those is very interesting. people have got to believe it is in their interest to do that.
at one point, i forced our very secretive, highly trained organizations to do exchanges. take a shooter, put them in the other for six months. i was told initially that just could not work. you cannot bring a seal to work with army guys, or whatever. but we went ahead with it. he had become one of them culturally. it helped us get over the hump eared what we had to do with other agencies is trade hostages, as we called it. [laughter] it is about relationships at the end of the day. thanks. >> gerald chandler. i would like to follow on your
last question. we have saved american money and lives -- would we have saved american money and lives if we had not disbanded the iraqi army at the start? >> you can never prove it, but my impression is absolutely. >> had weakened the iraqi army -- had we kept the iraqi army on payroll, you would have solved a couple of problems. you could have taken it and remold it to what you wanted. you would have had to do some work on it. but now when you put these now frustrated people back into the labour market in which there was no labor, you produce someone who is dissatisfied, and employed, and have their pride hurt. -- unemployed, and have their pride hurt. that was a significant mistake.
>> with over to the side. the lady right over there. >> what is your opinion on what is being done in the field with the civilian population? and what the you see with what happened in algeria with three american hostages killed? >> if you're going to get insurgents our population, the only people that can really do that is the population.
the population has to be unwilling to support the insurgents, or terrorists, or whatever you want to call them, because there is a fine line between the two. people do not do things that are irrational very often. if people feel that they are coerced by insurgents or if they feel that the government will not meet their needs, then they are much more apt to allow the insurgency in. one of those challenges with fallen counterinsurgency, french, american, whatever, you have a difficult time connecting with the people because of a cultural divide. that is a big hurdle to jump over. it is inconvenient for counterinsurgency forces to do that. you would rather not. you'd rather do what feels comfortable militarily. you would rather be in your bases. he would rather have units that are just friends or just american or just canadian. but the problem is, that is not more effective.
the population house to not fear you. they are to believe that you are there in their interest. if you think about a western soldier, they're in their combat uniform, body armor, helmet, they usually have a radio with a boom mike. there are a protection. if they are big, now they look cute. now they come into your village or your home at midnight and they do not speak your language. suddenly, it looks like a martian puritan -- like a martian. it is very frightening and you cannot explain -- you might have an interpreter a long, which we did, but even that is difficult. you can look terrifying to the population. they have to believe that the power you have is in their interest. that is the key thing.
if you go back to what happened in algeria recently and what is happening in molly.com of that is going to be an interesting problem -- what is happening in mali, that is an interesting problem. these are all areas that are important to france and important to the west. what is a relatively unpopulated area in northern mali has a geographical said the begins. somebody has to control it that is not an absolute safe haven. i think people were surprised by the algerian response. i was not. in my mind, the algerians fought a very bitter counterinsurgency of their own, a very bloody counterinsurgency. and the algerians have no interest in showing to a potential terrorist that they need western help and that they are willing to be weak. in fact, and i certainly would not say that the government of algeria was happy to have hostages die, but i think they sent a very clear sign -- a clear message to terrorist groups that they are not going to negotiate, that they are not going to play games, that they are capable of doing this. whether that is the perfect approach or not depends on who
you are providing the government of algeria wants to make sure that people know that algeria is not a place where terrorist incidents will pay off and they sent that pretty clearly as a message, i think. >> i have two questions. the first is, going back to iraq and afghanistan compaq clearly, you came out of iraq with a lot of useful lessons. but there are also things that you say in retrospect actually hindered you doing things there.
the second question is following up on a previous one. the economists did a cover this past week saying "africanistan." do you have a comment on aspects -- on that? >> my role was largely with the task force i have focused on destroying al qaeda in iraq. the we were very much there to dismantle the network. as i mentioned, we did it for a number of years. at one point, i think it was max boot who came to visit us and we were hitting targets and getting good at what we did. and he said, you are getting great at what you do, but it is strategically irrelevant. of course, i had my feelings hurt at the time prepared [laughter] but you know, he was largely right. what he was saying is, you can do this forever, and you are tamping down, you are holding al qaeda in iraq from being as effective as they could become law but we will not succeed
unless it is married with an effective and wider campaign. that was absolutely right. what really happened when the surge was implemented is another line -- a number of factors came together. there was the exhaustion of the sunnis, the effectiveness of our operation, the rise of the weakening, additional coalition forces, and there was a reinvigorated counterinsurgency effort. those things came together and suddenly, the operations we were doing not only remained as tactically effective as they were, but suddenly started to have strategic in fact -- the strategic impact. when we did something in an area, it did not erode. our work with the intelligence forces was more effective. when i went into afghanistan, i came into that believing that the end of the day, you have to win a population. there is no other sustainable, long-term outcome that can work. to do that, you got to protect the population, you've got to do things that convinced them to support their government, and indirectly the isaf forces.
and you needed to do the strike may since -- the strike missions, a quarter of a number of missions, but not just to pound on the enemy. it is like erosion. you've got to plant things to stop soil from eroding. i became convinced that was the right solution there. i was informed by my previous experience, or impacted by my previous experience there. ouattara the question? -- what was your other question? >> the second question was on mali essentially, and the economists call in its africanistan. are they the same or not? >> i am not prepared to say that they are the same. it is a pit and --
a big piece of ground with multiple obligations currently operating. the fear is that it comes -- become another somalia, and that it becomes an government territory where bad things can happen. i do not think it is exactly somalia either. but the idea that uncovered areas, and -- on a government areas, that things can happen. -- in areas that are not governed, bad things can happen. what we've got to do is establish enough governments there that they do not have that ability. >> i cannot help but comment here. the economist title is the classic military mistake of fighting the last war over again.
what i think we are seeing is not our enemy, al qaeda, is showing a remarkable adaptability and they are adapting to a new environment, which is the arab spring, taking advantage of it to create what i would call the third generation of al qaeda, or al qaeda 3.0. if you want to learn more about that, go to our website. let's go back to questions now that i have advertised for myself right here. >> my question has to do with prt teams and their attraction with troop engagement teams. to address the martian problem, you want to put a civilian with a group of men and women like that to maybe soften them up. there were attempts in afghanistan to do just that.
have there been any highly successful programs of that nature? aside from the efforts of some very brave prt team members that are being discussed for future engagement, should the u.s. population have the appetite to go into another country a and try to connect with that again? >> the great question. there is a tendency to want to wipe the white board clean. there's a certain group that says counterinsurgency does not work, and therefore, we will turn to something else.
a little bit like, i could not reach the grace, so they must have been sour. -- i could not reach the grapes, so they must have been soured. counterinsurgency is always hard. that is why there is an insurgency in an area, because there are problems. but you always do counterinsurgency. everyone likes to go back to world war ii. it was clean and good and we crushed nottie germany and then we came home. no, we did not. we did the marshall plan. that was counterinsurgency for years to make sure it did not erode or return to fascism or communism. in the civil war, with the reconstruction, and that was problematic, too, but you still have to do something to make society have some staying power. the question is, you have to know what you are doing with counterinsurgency. it is by definition a nuanced effort. what the insurgents want you to do is overreact. it is just like the matador with the ball. the inserting goes to the area and waives the caper by typically do in violent activities. what they want the security forces to do is to bomb the area or to surround the whole block
and search everybody's house. if you bomb it, you first read all the people. if you search all the houses, 95% are innocent, but nobody likes to have their house searched. now the civilians are irritated. the insurgency wanted to do that unless -- until you have lost credibility, or you have created so many antibodies with the people that is bad it is nuanced and it takes a long time. what america has not been good at is investing in those things that take a long time. i remember before afghanistan i wrote a book about the east india company in northwest india, later the pakistan area, but in the early 19th century.
they sprinkle these young men out there to establish bases and to build units. their first tour of duty was 10 years and had to learn what they called hindustani first. then they got leave and they went home to england and they got married and typically came back. if you have people in dealing effectively in an area, you got to think that way. however one says lawrence of arabia, the spring guide to one out and dealt with the arabs. there are different views of his effectiveness, but the point is, he was in the area before the war started. he had been an archaeologist, knew the language, he knew what he was dealing with. did you parachute's someone in from the joakim does not speak the language and is going to be there -- from milwaukee who does not speak the language and is going to be there six months, will they be affected? not often. -- will they be effective? not often. it will take real dedication of people. you how to create a cadre of people willing to do it. a cadre of people willing to accept risk because you cannot protect everybody. the reason it is done so much by the military now is because we have skewed funding and other things. we need to have a wider capacity with u.s. business.
are we willing to do it? i don't know. i'm not yet seen it. i see some talk about it, but not yet seen that on the ground. although, there are some exceptions. there are a number of people that i have worked with that do it. lee, but they are too few in number. -- i do a brilliant -- that do a brilliantly, but they are too few in number. >> i am a former marine. december 5. -- semper fi. my pessimism increases because it looks like we're shoveling sand against the tide. there is a book that goes to that insurance issue that you just address. the premise of the book is that we are not thinking long term. we do not have the fortitude to stick with it. >> i do know been west. i have not read the book. i agree in part with what he says and disagree in part. the long term is to stick with anything is what is key. in the region now, afghanistan
and pakistan, what they want to know was whether america is going to stick their. they do not want to know how many troops will put on the ground. that is not what the measure. the measure based on whether we will turn around and walk away. pakistan wants to stay there, but they are not sure that it -- that we will. if they believe that we will come all there calculus is different the problem is, we do not like the idea of saying that we will be here for a long time, even small numbers of people. president karzai, i remember on one day i said of how many americans do you want here? he said, i want american business. and i want you here to make a profit, because if you will make a profit here, you will not want the relationship to go bad. a very perceptive. where i disagree is where he said that we are not taking the gloves off and not pounding on the taliban hard -- hard enough. where i disagree with that is, the soviets killed 1.2 million of people out of 24 million people. how many people mathematically to react to kill? -- do we have to kill? it doesn't work that way. when you go to work, there are other effects. you start destroying people's
houses. if the taliban comes into our house and start shooting at us, we have the legal right to level the house. if you have to through -- to survive, do it. if you don't have to come back away. people said we were being solved. if i blow up that house, even if the taliban are in it, the people who own the house if they are lucky enough not to be in there and when we blow it up, they do not feel liberated after word. afghans use to tell me, there are three outcomes, either you win, the taliban winds, or we get stuck in this protracted war. they have been at war for 34 years now. they said, we would like you to win, but our second guest is that the taliban wins. but we cannot stand is that the war goes on forever.
pretty interesting and rational behavior. i do not think afghanistan is impossible. i do not think it is ever impossible. but i think is very hard. we need to understand exactly what we want out of afghanistan. we need to have a very clear set of objectives for what we want. and do not think of afghanistan, as bruce has written about so eloquently, think about the region. because when we are gone, the region will still be there. and we are worried of northern mali now, and the whole region has potential issues before the world. -- for the world. >> let's go to the back. over there in the corner. >> general, what is your opinion on the campaign against al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, in yemen? is it on the right track? or is it going to the
decapitation strategy that you talked about earlier? >> i'm not an expert on it now. i have an opinion sort of from afar, i give you that up front. i think you do have a positive effect. you can have positive effects in striking and meet the drones, or whatever you do, kinetics strikes and things like that, because you can disrupt the organization and take out key leaders. i have never seen it where it is decisive. i have never seen where you can do enough drone strikes to destroy an entire network, or decapitate it enough so that new leaders do not rise. i hope that is not the whole. i think it has got to be a supporting efforts for other activities, hopefully by the government of yemen. what we have to understand about drone strikes is for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. every time you shoot inside a country, there are some who are
happy about it and some who are not. often, those who are not happy about it are not directly affected by it. if you look in pakistan right now, those who are most opposed to american drone strikes are not those who are close to the strikes. they are those who are outraged by the idea of sovereignty being violated. that is something we got to think about every time we do something. there is always a day after. and you will always deal with the long-term impact of what you do. i do not believe we should not have that as a tool in the arsenal or the capacity that we have. but i think we need to have a very thoughtful, long-term policy on what happens the day after everything we do. i think that applies everywhere
in the world. how would we feel if the mexicans came north and took a drone strike in texas, even though we were going after a drug leader that we did not like, that we thought was evil aspects part of us would say, it is good that we -- that we thought he was evil? part of this would say, it is good that we got him. the other part would say, why didn't you just tell us? you have to understand what is going to people's minds. -- through people's minds. >> as you have said, we did not know enough and did not understand enough. can you explain what you envisioned when you implement the afghanistan program? and how that could be adapted to other regions, wherever we go next? >> i became convinced in my to
-- my first tour in afghanistan in 2002 that we did not know enough, that we were clueless in trying to figure out is extraordinarily complex thing. and then all of my years in iraq and then again in afghanistan as well. and in the fall of 2008, i come back from my special operations command. i was director of the joint staff. i had been reading about the area and understood that despite all the time i was there how little i understood. and i like to read history. i became convinced that unless we had a cadre of people that understood the area and had long term relationships with people, it would be difficult to be effective. arar the white board at my office, mike flynn, now the director of the dia, and major general scott miller and i said,
we've got to create audra of people who speak the language, have repetitive chores, have relationships and can influence things. the term afghan hands came from the idea of the china hands, people who are involved for a long time. we got the chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral mike mullen, to support and we got the secretary of defense to support it. we got a great plan and it will take awhile to implement. we ran right into service bureaucracy. what we ran into was people going, wow, if i put a man a woman into the program, they will be tied up for five years and they will not be competitive. they will not be good marines or air force officers or whatever. we cannot put talent in that program. i said, we've got to put down in that program. once this war is over, they will be lost because they will have wasted five years of their lives, and this war is not going to last that long. here we are in the ninth year at this point. we ran against personnel resistance.
in every one of the services. the very grudgingly identified a certain number of people and they started putting people in the program. the program was managed -- i was managing the afghan and of it and had people working for me, but i was responsible. we did not implement it as well as we should have. it was going to get better over time. but a certain part of the people who came over or not volunteers.
and they had been volun-told. [laughter] t e lawrence did well because he had a passion and wanted to do it. a percentage of them did, but it percentage did not. a percentage of the people could not learn language because they would not try and were not smart enough. but it is almost to your question exactly about the civilian part. we have to be willing to make the investment prepared -- investment. we have to be willing to say it is worth as long-term investments because is not caught -- if not, you cannot operate effectively. you cannot go in there with people who do not have a long- term commitment to the outcome of the area and expect to have a good effect. >> we have time for one last question. right here.
>> general mcchrystal, thanks for being here. i make current student and also author of the book "the first 100 days in afghanistan. we see that the u.s. does not have an enduring part -- presence in iraq and is going to devote one now for afghanistan. what is the position for that? what are the resources for it? >> what do we want? that is the first in a raft of u.s. policy-makers. what is our geostrategic objective in that region? if we cannot articulate that, then just saying we do not want
al qaeda there is probably not broad enough. we need to be able to identify for ourselves what we want, and then we need to see whether it is aligned with what we're willing to pay, in terms of people, in terms of money, in terms of pain, i guess you would say. i'm not 100% sure we know about. there is some discussion about it, but i'm not sure we know it. that will define what happens. we have said that we want a stable afghanistan, a stable pakistan, with a reasonable relationship between the two. and we want no al qaeda in the region and what not. but the question is whether we're willing to commit the resources long term. and part of that is just focused, not as a surrogate
troops or money, but how engaged we are willing to be -- not necessarily troops or money, but how engaged we are willing to be. i have mentioned that the afghans are scared of 2014 not because there is no progress, but because there has been and they are afraid they could lose it. they are worried and of the rise of warlords and civil war and what not. is in our personal interest to work for stability pretty seriously in that region. but i might have a different willingness of commitment and the nation has. the policy makers have got to
get together and make that decision. i and the afghans can protect their sovereignty now if they have the confidence to do it. they have an army, a police force, but they are not facing a huge army. they are facing a taliban and that is fragmented. it is a different challenge. their problem is confidence. when you do not trust things and you do not trust the future, you take a very irrational actions to protect you and your own produce and money to buy and things like that. when in reality to make the country or an organization were, everyone has to make a commitment to doing the things together. it is the confidence thing that scares people more than anything. if they have a peaceful transfer of power in 2014, which they are capable of, and they have a government that appears as though it is improving -- it does not have to be great, but they just need to believe it will be better this year and then next year, and that sort of thing, then there is a chance if will come out well. if they do not, that will determine the direction. >> thank you. thanks again. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national
>> first of all, let me say, i do not agree with anything you just said in spanish. [laughter] i am new to this issue in terms of the senate, not in terms of my life. i have lived surrounded by immigrants, my neighbors are immigrants, i'm mara into a family of immigrants. i see the good of immigration every day, how important it is for our future. as most americans, i know how critical the immigration system has been for our heritage and our future. by the same token, i see the negative is that illegal immigration is causing our country. these are issues that the vast majority of americans agree with. they believe we do have a legal immigration system that works and they recognize that we have now is not the 21st century legal immigration system and that is why i am so pleased the first principle in this effort is one to modernize our immigration system so it reflects the reality and the needs of the 21st century. by the same token, we recognize the market has a right to reform immigration laws. that is why i am pleased to look at these out lines. this will insure that we are never here again with a situation that we face today. none of this is possible if we did not address the real and yet there are 11 million human beings in this country today that are undocumented. that is not something that anyone is happy about, not something that anyone wanted to
see happen, but that is what happened. we have the obligation and need to address the reality of the situation we face in a way that is fair to the people who are doing it the right way, in essence, the hundreds of thousands of people who come to our offices every year whose relatives are waiting in line to legally come here. we have to be fair to them. we also have to ensure we did not do anything to encourage people to come here illegally in the future. by the same token, we are dealing with 11 million human beings who are here undocumented, the majority of
whom have come here in pursuit of what all of us would recognize as the american dream. that is what we endeavour to move forward here on. on both sides of this issue there are legitimate points to be raised. there are people who are concerned about how much this will cost the american economy. we have to be frank about dealing with those issues. >> president obama speaks about his immigration plan. live tuesday.
>> the governor unveiled a plan to lower income taxes. this is about 20 minutes. >> thank you very much. mr. president, mr. speaker, members of the legislature, tribal chairmen, distinguished guests, friends and fellow nebraskans, i am excited to be here today at the beginning of the 2013 legislative session as we take this opportunity to continue moving nebraska forward. since 2005, the nebraska legislature and i have worked together to make a positive
difference for nebraskans. you and i have positioned nebraska as a state that is making significant progress. this is a great state and it starts with our citizens. nebraskans are hardworking, practical, responsible, and innovative. as nebraskans, we bring a sense of quiet pride to everything we do. we respect each other and we want our children to have an even better nebraska in the future. nebraska is a special place and our job is to ensure that nebraska is prosperous today and in the future. we are on the right path and that path starts with a quality education. education is the great equalizer and education is one of our state's top priorities. we invest in education because we know how important it is. your new speaker, senator greg adams, has been part of our p- 16 initiative to strengthen academic achievement for all students in nebraska. in 2008, i signed into law the legislature's lb 1157 that provides for statewide assessments in reading, writing, math and science. thanks to that legislation and
our partnership with commissioner breed and the state board of education, more than ever before the focus of our school districts is now on academic achievement. we can be very proud that nebraska's high school graduation rate is 86%, the 4th best in america. we have good schools, and they want to be even better in the future. my proposed budget continues to make k-12 education a priority by increasing state aid to education from $852 million to $895 million in fiscal year 2014 and to $939 million in fiscal year 2015. additionally, i am proposing a 5% increase in special education funding in each of the next two years. our students of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and it is critical to our future that they have affordable access to a quality higher education. last week, university of nebraska president j.b. milliken, nebraska state college chancellor stan carpenter and i announced that the university of nebraska and nebraska's state colleges are prepared to implement a two-year tuition freeze for nebraska students if you adopt my proposed budget. my recommendation provides the necessary state funding to achieve this two-year tuition freeze for unl, unk, uno, unmc, chadron state, wayne state and peru state. this is very good news for nebraska families who are working very hard to ensure that their sons and daughters can afford to go to college. community colleges are an important component of our education system, as well. i am proposing a similar increase in community college funding for each of the next two years so that each of our six community colleges can also consider adopting a two year tuition freeze, but, educating the students of
today for the jobs of tomorrow is only half of our formula for continued success. in order for nebraska to continue to grow, we must create jobs that will retain our best and brightest, and welcome future nebraskans to our state. working together with the legislature in my first year as governor, we passed the nebraska advantage and it has been incredibly successful. agriculture is an important part of our economy and agriculture remains relatively strong in nebraska. we're second in cattle on feed, third in corn production, sixth in soybean production and the second leading ethanol producer. however, our farmers and ranchers have also faced the challenge of the drought this past year, and they have managed their operations with efficiency and flexibility. water resources will continue to be a challenge for agriculture, businesses and communities due to the continued drought.
nebraska, and last summer i led a trade mission to china. we continue to expand and strengthen our relationship with china, just like we have done with canada, mexico, japan and many other countries. during the past few years, nebraska exports to china have grown rapidly and china is now nebraska's fourth largest trading partner. the nebraska-china relationship is just beginning and i am confident this will be a growing and improving relationship for many years to come. as we continue to make state government more efficient and more accessible to our citizens, i want to recognize our technology professionals throughout state government for what they do. from online motor vehicle registration renewals to our 511 system that provides immediate and accurate information about current road conditions, our goal is to provide more and better technology in the future. i am also very pleased to share with you our efforts to have state workers make wellness a part of their everyday lives.
award, you have to demonstrate health improvements and cost savings. this award reflects how hard state employees have worked to improve their health. after just three years, the state of nebraska has seen a $4.2 million reduction in claims, strong participation rates and high satisfaction among employees. our focus on wellness is resulting in a healthier work force and our insurance premium increases are significantly lower than the national average. at the federal level, health care policy is a different story. in the next two year budget cycle, the state of nebraska and every state in america is required by law to implement president obama's new federal health care law. the financial impact is enormous. it will cost more than $170 million in federal and state funds over the next eight years to implement just the technology and administration required by the new federal health care law. and even more significant, it
will cost the state of nebraska $72 million in new general funds in this budget for the growth of the current medicaid program as a result of the new federal health care law. that's $72 million in new general fund spending for president obama's new federal health care law -- money that should be going to state aid to education or higher education. i am also very concerned about federal economic policy and its impact on nebraska. unlike the federal government, we don't spend money we don't have. we balance our budget in state government and our family budgets by controlling spending, not by raising taxes. nebraskans are very careful and conservative in how they spend their money. this conservative approach has led to positive national recognition. lending tree said nebraskans have the lowest average monthly mortgage payment of any state in america. 24/7 wall street named nebraska the third best run state in america. gallup has recognized nebraska as the fourth best state to live in. nebraska has good schools, affordable homes, a strong work
ethic and a low unemployment rate, but taxes are too high in nebraska. high taxes impede economic growth. high taxes aren't attractive for entrepreneurial growth and high paying jobs. the small business and entrepreneurship council states in their 2012 u.s. business policy index that "a high personal income tax rate raises the costs of working, saving, investing, and risk taking. the personal income tax influences businesses far more than generally assumed because more than 92% of businesses file taxes as individuals and therefore pay personal income taxes rather than corporate income taxes." this same report states that nebraska's top personal income tax rate is the 35th highest in america and higher than every one of our neighboring states. additionally, 23 states exempt a portion of or all retired military pay, but nebraska does not. forty-three states exempt a portion of or all social security income from taxation, but nebraska does not.
forty-two states don't have an inheritance tax, but nebraska does. according to the tax foundation, nebraska's business tax climate is 31st out of fifty states. that's mediocre at best. we are not even in the top half of all states. missouri is 16th. colorado is 18th. kansas is 26th. wyoming and south dakota are one and two. only iowa ranks lower at 42nd. while rankings are important, this is really about the next generation of nebraska's leaders -- our sons and daughters, and our grandchildren. how many of you have sons and daughters, grandchildren, brothers and sisters and other family members who no longer live in nebraska because they couldn't find a job here or they couldn't find the right career here in nebraska? every family in nebraska knows exactly what i am talking about. the question is -- are we willing to do something about it? are we going to be satisfied with a mediocre tax system that won't create the jobs of the future for our sons and daughters?
or, are we willing to consider reforming the tax code so that we have a modern, simpler and fairer tax code? are we willing to consider a bold, innovative and strategic tax reform plan that would create a top ten business tax climate in nebraska? i am. i believe you are, too. and nebraskans know we can do better than a mediocre tax system. so, what can we do? the state of nebraska's sales and income tax system generates approximately $4 billion in revenue. the income tax system raises nearly $2.4 billion. the remainder comes from sales tax revenue. but, did you know that the state of nebraska provides $5 billion in sales tax exemptions? nebraska exempts more than we collect. is that fair to our small businesses and working nebraskans? imagine if we eliminated just half of the current exemptions. what would that mean for our citizens? nebraska wouldn't need to have an individual income tax or a
corporate income tax. without the individual income tax and the corporate income tax, there would be no income tax on working nebraskans. social security and military retirement income would no longer be taxed. there would be no tax on small businesses. in recent months, i have asked business leaders if they would give up their sales tax exemptions if we could eliminate the individual income tax and the corporate income tax or at least lower the individual and corporate tax rates. you may be surprised, but many are willing to have that discussion. they want simplicity and fairness. they want a modern tax code that rewards productivity, profits and job creation rather than having their lawyers and accountants spending time mining the tax code for exemptions. our tax system shouldn't favor one industry over another. change is not easy, especially when it involves taxes, but this is the discussion that our state needs to have. the world has changed and our current tax system needs to be modernized and transformed. it's been nearly 5 decades since nebraska had a serious debate about our overall tax system. life has changed drastically since the 1960s. we were operating in a
completely different economic environment then. the average cost of a new home was $24,000. a first-class stamp was 5 cents and gas was 33 cents a gallon. in the 1960s, americans didn't even have personal computers in their homes. today, we live in an electronic age. today, we are educating our children for jobs that have not yet been created, using technologies that have not yet been invented. today, we are operating in a technology-driven, global free market economy, and we need a modern tax system. our tax reform proposal is revenue neutral and budget neutral. i know there are organizations that want to tax more services with the overall goal of growing government. these organizations want to spend more tax dollars on more government programs. that is not what most nebraskans want and that is not what our plan is about. our goal is a better business tax climate that will create more high-paying jobs and more rewarding careers for our sons and daughters. we need a tax climate that rewards middle class families for their hard work. in the next few days. i will have legislation introduced that provides alternative options for eliminating many business sales tax exemptions that could lead to the elimination of the individual income tax and the corporate income tax or at least lowering nebraska's individual and corporate tax rates. this will provide a starting point for our discussion. i want to emphasize one point -- our proposal will not tax food. this tax debate will be
challenging, but it is necessary. nebraskans have strong opinions, and we are able to disagree on policy in an agreeable and respectful manner. i welcome and look forward to your input. i am prepared to work with you and all nebraskans, because together we can develop a better tax system for nebraska. by adopting a modern, simpler and fairer tax code, we have the opportunity to make nebraska a top ten business tax climate state so that our sons and daughters, and new citizens, can find jobs and careers right here in nebraska. our young people will stay here because they will have good jobs and they will have good careers. seniors and retirees will stay because nebraska will no longer tax their social security and retirement income. our entrepreneurs will grow their businesses in nebraska, because they will no longer face the burden of nebraska being the 35th highest taxed state on small businesses. the choice is ours. this is about nebraska's future. nebraskans care about this special place we call home. we want nebraska to be an even better place to live, to work and to raise a family in the
and we are able to disagree on policy in an agreeable and respectful manner. i welcome and look forward to your input. i am prepared to work with you and all nebraskans, because together we can develop a better tax system for nebraska. by adopting a modern, simpler and fairer tax code, we have the opportunity to make nebraska a top ten business tax climate state so that our sons and daughters, and new citizens, can find jobs and careers right here in nebraska. our young people will stay here because they will have good jobs and they will have good careers. seniors and retirees will stay because nebraska will no longer tax their social security and retirement income. our entrepreneurs will grow their businesses in nebraska, because they will no longer face the burden of nebraska being the 35th highest taxed state on small businesses. the choice is ours. this is about nebraska's future. nebraskans care about this special place we call home. we want nebraska to be an even better place to live, to work and to raise a family in the